How does the Lombardi Trophy get shared equally by the 53 men who captured football’s most elusive prize?
Splitting sterling silver is impractical, plus the actual trophy goes in a case for franchise’s to showcase for decades and decades. The more obvious and much more simple solution: Create more jewelry.
And that’s how the Super Bowl ring was born – a tradition shared by all winners dating back to Super Bowl I in 1967 and a symbol that represent the game’s continuity and evolution, with each iteration flashier than its predecessor.
Super Bowl rings are a visible, permanent sign of accomplishment to be carried with you for life. They are also a chance for each team to put their own personal spin on it, taking creative liberties and pionerring the frontier that is football fashion.
Here’s a look at all the details of Super Bowl rings and who gets to keep the hardware.
How much is a Super Bowl ring worth?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
That sure seems to be the case in the sports world as fans and collectors alike will pay high dollar for iconic memorabilia.
That said, everything has a price and Super Bowl rings are no different.
While there isn’t a hard-and-fast number to how much a Super Bowl ring is worth, depending on the circumstances and details of the ring, experts generally appraise them between $30,000 and $50,000 based on the jewels and features alone.
The most recent rendition of hardware, owned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was estimated at $35,000 by local Tampa Bay jeweler Steve Weintraub, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Weintraub went on to say that it could go for up to $100,000 at auction.
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Who gets a Super Bowl ring?
You get a ring! You get a ring! You get a ring! NFL owners can channel their inner Oprah when it comes to handing out Super Bowl rings, but there are still a few rules.
Generally, all 53 players, coaches and team executives receive some hardware. As of the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, practice squad players were added to the list of guaranteed recipients, but their’s can be “of a lesser value,” at the discretion of the team owners.
From there, owners have the freedom to bestow a ring of any value on anyone they choose -- trainers, cheerleaders, super fans, etc.
Does the losing team get rings?
It’s a game of champions for a reason and nobody leaves empty handed.
The losing team finishes with a conference championship ring, acknowledging the achievement of making it to the Super Bowl. Typically less glitzy and a reminder of what could have been, these rings rarely get the same press as their counterparts but go through the same design process nonetheless.
Ron Rivera, then coach of the Carolina Panthers, took a different approach following his team’s Super Bowl 50 loss. Rather than include the Panthers’ 17-2 record that included the Super Bowl, Rivera opted to order a ring engraved with 17-1 as a celebration of the team’s NFC championship.
Can you buy a Super Bowl ring?
Sure you can … if you have a cool $100,000 lying around.
It’s not uncommon for former players to put their rings up for auction. In fact, there’s a whole website dedicated to people selling rings, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny.
The most expensive Super Bowl ring ever sold at auction actually belongs not to a player, but an owner. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, sold his Super Bowl LI ring -- adorned with 283 jewels as a reminder of the Patriots’ 28-3 comeback over the Atlanta Falcons -- for just over a million dollars, with all the proceeds going to nonprofits that provide meals to those in need. The sale also came with a ride to New England on Kraft’s jet to meet the man himself.
Who makes the Super Bowl rings?
Every year companies bid for the right to produce one of sports’ most prized possessions. Jostens, a memorabilia giant, has won that right 37 out of 55 years (yes, the same Jostens that likely produced your high school yearbook).
Jostens' history as the de-facto ring provider for the NFL dates back all the way back to Super Bowl I. Simple by today’s standard, the inaugural ring was designed by head coach Vince Lombardi and featured a diamond in the middle of a “globe of white gold.”
Balfour and Tiffany’s & Co. are just two of Jostens’ competitors that have also been selected to produce Super Bowl rings. Tiffany’s is also the exclusive provider of the Vince Lombardi trophy, awarded to the winning team.
Who pays for the Super Bowl rings?
The NFL typically contributes anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 per ring for up to 150 rings per team, with any additional costs falling to the team owners.
Those numbers might seem daunting, but pale in comparison to the impact a Super Bowl victory has on a team’s value. While there are a number of factors that go into determining a team’s value, there’s one thing the five least-valuable teams have in common -- no Super Bowl ring.
Who has the most Super Bowl rings?
I’ll give you a hint. Six of them came with the Patriots and he’s still actively in the NFL. You guessed Tom Brady? Wrong.
While Brady’s seven rings -- the most of any player in Super Bowl history -- are nothing to scoff at, the answer to this trick question actually lies with Brady’s play caller -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick has won six Super Bowls with the Patriots and two as defensive coordinator with the New York Giants in the 1980s to bring his ring grand total to eight.
Behind Belichick, Brady and Neal Dahlen, former executive with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, have seven rings to their name. Fourteen people have won six rings, all in coaching, administrative or ownership roles.